Villager Popularizes Ethnic Folk Songs Sung atop Terraced Rice Fields of SW China's Yunnan

 March 16, 2022


Singing traditional folk songs while working in the fields, the people of the Hani ethnic group have turned terraced rice fields into a massive stage to showcase their praises for the spirit of labor and daily life.

Villager Popularizes Ethnic Folk Songs Sung atop Terraced Rice Fields of SW China's Yunnan
Chen Xiniang (first from right) performs Hani polyphonic folk songs with fellow villagers. [People's Daily Online/Lei Yang]


Hani polyphonic folk music, a national intangible cultural heritage, has been passed down for generations through word of mouth by the Hani people in several villages of Honghe Hani and Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Chen Xiniang, a national-level inheritor of the Hani polyphonic folk music, has been committing himself to popularizing the art form.

Chen, now 57 years old, started to learn Hani polyphonic folk songs when he was young, and has mastered techniques at a high level, including singing and playing various musical instruments.

Over the past years, Chen has performed Hani polyphonic folk songs at home and abroad. So far, two of Chen's students have become provincial-level inheritors of Hani polyphonic folk songs and four have become prefecture-level inheritors.

Under the influence of their father, Chen's son and daughter have also engaged in the protection of the intangible cultural heritage.

"I am always ready to teach Hani polyphonic folk songs to more people as long as they are interested in the music," Chen said, hoping that the Hani songs can be kept alive among future generations.


(Source: People's Daily Online)


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